Health Canada says it’s taking action on certain agricultural practices that are “not sustainable,” particularly neonicotinoid pesticides that are killing bees.
On September 13, 2013, The Pest Management Regulatory Agency published a Notice of Intent to protect Canadian bee populations that have been on the decline for years, mostly due to insecticides used at farms located near apiaries.
The agency states that it received a number of bee-death reports over the spring and summer of 2012, mainly from corn-growing regions of Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba.
Among the agency’s planned measures are forcing corn and soybean farmers to follow certain seed-planting practices, and requiring seeds to have “dust-reducing” lubricants.
The agency also wants to improve labels on pesticide and seed packages.
“We are working with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, provincial governments, growers, beekeepers and the pesticide industry to determine if other options exist that would protect the environment while allowing the continued use of these seed treatments for corn and soybean,” states the agency in a news release to media on September 13, 2013.
The Canadian Honey Council, which represents 7,000 beekeepers across the country, called Health Canada’s announcement a “positive step.”
The agency is inviting stakeholders and the public to submit written comments on Notice of Intent NOI2013-01, “Action to Protect Bees from Exposure to Neonicotinoid Pesticides.” The deadline for submissions is December 12, 2013.
For the 2014 planting season, the agency intends to implement additional protective measures for corn and soybean production, including:
- Requiring the use of safer dust-reducing seed flow lubricants;
- Requiring adherence to safer seed planting practices;
- Requiring new pesticide and seed package labels with enhanced warnings; and,
- Requiring updated value information be provided to support the continued need for neonicotinoid treatment on up to 100 per cent of the corn seed and 50 per cent of the soybean seed.
How to Get Involved
This consultation is open for a 90-day comment period. Interested parties are encouraged to provide written comments. Open the "Consultation Document" link below to access the document.
If you would like to comment, see the Pest Management Regulatory Agency Publications Section page for contact information. Please be sure to include the title of the consultation document on which you are commenting. Interested parties are encouraged to provide comments by December 12, 2013.